Husband , myself and another couple ( lifelong friends) flew to FLL 2 days prior to embarkation. We stayed in a Air B and B - two bedroom apartment about 10 minutes from the downtown Las Olas Blvd. area. In the past we have always stayed at FL Beach, so I was a bit skeptical about this. No need to worry- the place was wonderful! Clean and tidy in a quiet residential area . We were a ten minute walk from Southport Raw Bar and a 20 min walk to the heart of Los Olas Blvd and the Riverwalk. And the price was a FRACTION of the price of just one night lodging at FL beach! There also was an IHOP, a Walgreens, and a Starbucks a 5 min walk from the apartment. Uber to Los Olas Blvd ( when we didn’t feel like walking) was 4$ one way. Uber to the beach or the big Galleria Mall was about 10$ each way. Uber from FLL airport was 20$ for an XL.
The morning of the cruise dawned bright and sunny! We walked to Starbucks for a light breakfast and then to Walgreens to get our 12 pack of Diet Coke and big bottle of sunscreen. We like to travel with carryons only so we just wait and buy anything over 3 fluid oz when we a get to our destination. Uber to the cruise port came right on time at 1130 . We had the best driver . He was from Venezuela and talked about coming to America 7 years ago and how horrible things in Venezuela were and are. He works 2 jobs here and stated - “ USA is 100% perfect compared to Venezuela. People here don’t understand how good they have it”.
Amen! Even tho you Twitter too much and say controversial things sometimes- Thank you President Trump for keeping America great and away from socialism.
Embarkation was very very smooth, we didn’t have a suite or Faster to the Fun, but it took maybe 15 min tops to get thru all the checkpoints. We did have to fill out a health questionnaire because of the Corona virus issues that were beginning to be an issue.
We walked into the beautiful green atrium lobby and felt as if we were back home! Our most recent cruises were on RC and MSC and this was our 7th Carnival. We definitely feel like Carnival provides the best all around service and amenities and ports for the price.
This was our first time sailing on the Dream class of ship, so we enjoyed exploring a bit before we went to lunch at Guys Pig and Anchor deck 5- very good BBQ! At 130 our cabins were ready. We had side by side balcony rooms on Deck 8 Mid- right by the Atrium glass elevators. We loved this location! It was so convenient to the Lido and the atrium activities. We used the stairs alot, but it was nice to have the xtra set of elevators right near our room as well!
loved the Dive In movies, the nightly entertainment and the comedians! Simon London the cruise director is phenomenal- he was everywhere and interacted so well with all age groups. The piano bar entertainment was excellent. The violin trio in the atrium- excellent. The entertainment each night and day in the atrium was so well attended with each level ringed with people enjoying the music, dancing, trivia, etc going on below.
We especially loved the huge cantilevered hot tubs on deck 5- there was always room in them. After muster drill we went watched sail away as we soaked and enjoyed the view- just fabulous.
The options on this ship were wonderful. Guys burgers, Blue Iguana taco place, Pizza, 24 hour soft serve, Deli, buffet, Italian restaurant above the buffet, the steakhouse, and of course the dining room!
We tried all of the above! Main dining service was fine -we ate there every night but one, service was timely and we loved the choices. We ate lunch twice in Italian restaurant ( it’s free for lunch and a great respite from the buffet crowds) . Steakhouse once ( phenomenal), Sea day brunch twice( slow but excellent) Guys burgers ( many times) , Iguana once for breakfast ( so good) Pig and Anchor twice . Ran out of time and stretchy pants to eat at Deli! Lol. Oh we also ordered room service pizza for $5 which was delivered very fast from a super friendly employee at 1 am!
Half Moon Cay: (Bahamas)the white powder beach! The crystal clear water! The island buffet! The little trails! We loved HMC. The only thing we didn’t like, and we will try to tweak this next time. Is how long it took to get back on a tender to the ship, to get off the island. I have never in any of my cruises waited in line as long as I did on half Moon Cay trying to get back to the ship. It was terrible. It was like being at an amusement park in endless lines to get on the brand new roller coaster that just opened. Zig zag lines back and forth for at least 45 minutes. It was about 2pm when we went to get in line and last tender was 3 pm. So maybe next time we will try to get one of the first tenders off the ship onto the island and leave earlier to get back on the ship…
Grand Turk: ( Turks and Caicos)
Gorgeous and easy and cheap! No excursion needed. We went away from the crowds to the right of the pier and got a clamshell and 4 loungers on the beach right by the Grand Turk sign!! It was the perfect place to spend the day. Snorkeling was fab and the shops and restrooms were right behind us! The beached whale bar had great drinks and snacks and lots of beautiful scenery. We loved this day!
Amber Cove( Dominican Republic):
We woke up in the morning just as we were sailing into Amber Cove- wow! This very moment was worth the entire price of the cruise. Amazing scenery right from our balcony.
Our friends went to the dolphin excursion thru Carnival and loved it! We went into Amber Cove and “hiked” up to the SkyBar to see awesome views of the port and have a drink. Then we watched the zip liners, and walked down to the pool area. By this time it was about noon and the pool was packed with every chair taken. So we shopped and walked around port, read about the history, and my husband went back on the ship while I shopped some more- we also loved our day! We went for a swim in the ship pool back on board.
Debarkation was very smooth. We did Self, and the whole process took about 45 min. We spent the day at FL beach on the main strip enjoying the sun and restaurants ( even with our luggage) until it was time to Uber to the airport.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Magic. Of course great weather really helps, but the entire ship experience for us was wonderful - especially when you consider the price point .
The entire ship was spotlessly clean, public restrooms every time, hand hygiene very much encouraged and maintained at all times. A cruise ship in my opinion is one of the safest public
places because they KNOW how to clean and what to do to help prevent mass outbreaks- the cruise industry has been so focused on this for so long. Stay strong everyone. We all WILL sail again❤️
Roomy and clean- wonderful cabin steward who always made us towel animals!
Love this area. FLL is a great port to cruise from.
See review for details.